November 18, 2014
2 min read

Alastair and Jean Carruthers: Dermatology's 'dynamic duo'

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SAN DIEGO — In their Vancouver office that specializes in facial aesthetics, Alastair Carruthers, FRCPC, and Jean D. Carruthers, MD, tell their patients to shop for their shoes, not their faces, as the face is “where you live.”

To achieve a desired look, patients should only trust aesthetic procedures to trained experts, the couple explained during their presentation here at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting.

Alastair Carruthers

Alastair Carruthers

Jean Carruthers, MD

Jean Carruthers

In the late 1980s, the Carruthers discovered that Botox (onabotulinumtoxin-A, Allergan), which at the time they were using to treat spasms of the eye, also eased facial lines and wrinkles.

During their Leadership in Innovation lecture, the couple described how Jean would inject her husband, and vice versa, to show treatment safety and to gain patient trust in the early days of the procedure for facial aesthetics.

They even improved their in-office secretary’s deep glabella-region wrinkles. Although the treatment was in its infancy, their secretary witnessed so many of the Carruthers’ eye patients leaving the office feeling satisfied and essentially wrinkle-free, she trusted its safety and end result, according to Jean.

People thought they were crazy when they said they could use botulinumA exotoxin to treat wrinkles on the face; however, history speaks for itself, and Botox is now a household name for facial aesthetics, according to the Carruthers.

“We are so fortune to have both Alastair and Jean Carruthers as our leaders and as our friends … who have helped us all in being a specialty at the forefront of cosmetic medicine,” ASDS president Mitchel P. Goldman, MD, said during the lecture.


In an innovative take on aesthetics, Alastair also completes facial implant surgery for patients with HIV who experience fat loss in the face, around the mouth and in the cheeks as a result of the side effects from early HIV medications.

In improving the face to make it younger and fuller looking, his results have helped to restore patients’ self-esteem and physicality all in one treatment, releasing some societal stigma that is often an extreme burden to HIV patients.

Without their innovative work, advocacy, curiosity and knowledge, facial cosmetic dermatology would not be where it is today, according to Goldman.


Carruthers JD. Leadership in Innovation Lecture. Presented at: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting. Nov. 6-9, 2014; San Diego.

Disclosure: No products or companies that would require financial disclosure are mentioned in this article.